ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, called on the Christian parties in the Kurdistan Region to unite and convey their concerns, priorities, needs, and desires ahead of the independence referendum scheduled for Sep. 25, 2017.
Barzani on Tuesday met with Yunadim Yusuf Kana, Secretary General of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and accompanying party members in Erbil.
In the meeting, both sides discussed the fight against the Islamic State (IS), the political and security situation in Iraq as well as the latest developments inside and outside the country, according to the Kurdistan Region Presidency's (KRP) press office.
The Assyrian party delegation recognized the sacrifices of Peshmerga in the fight against the jihadist group.
The party members mentioned that Christians view a future with the Kurds, and other ethnic and religious groups in the Kurdistan Region as "only in Kurdistan are the rights of ethnic and religious minority groups protected," according to the statement.
In the meeting, Barzani described the history of peoples' experiences in the Kurdistan Region living under the state of Iraq and highlighted the reasons that pushed them to move toward seceding from Iraq.
The Kurdish President noted that understanding the rights and demands of Christians are principles rooted in the political and social life in Kurdistan. He asked Christian parties in Kurdistan Region to meet and jointly present their concerns and requests to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Assyrian Democratic Movement holds two seats in both parliaments of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
The KRG plans to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25, a long-awaited goal for Kurdish people, who throughout history have dreamt of establishing an independent state.
The referendum will also include the disputed territories, including the Christian populated region of Nineveh, located near Mosul.
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani last Christmas Eve mentioned that the Iraqi Christians are a native people in the Kurdistan Region, not a minority.
Editing by G.H. Renaud